Monday, October 24, 2011

I return to me

I waited 3 weeks before jumping back in the game. But really, it had to be done. Especially since training in earnest begins in 2 weeks.

Yesterday morning, after his "breakfast feeding" (which interprets to the time we decide that we've gotten enough sleep and can get up for the day) I passed off Thatbaby to Thatboy and headed out for a run. Things I noticed:
1) I didn't think I had any swelling during pregnancy, but my vibrams slip on so much easier now.
2) I started out slow, just the 2 miles I was doing before I had the baby, BUT now I don't need to walk up the especially big hills. Which means I can run the entire thing!
3) And as far as running the entire thing, I'm doing a 13 minute mile, which isn't very speedy but is SO much faster than I was running during the pregnancy. And I totally credit that with not carrying a baby anymore (and being below my prepregnancy weight at this point in time.)

The only downside to being faster is that the run was over far too early. But I don't want to push it too fast too soon, so I'll keep up with a couple more 2 milers this week before starting to increase my distance next week. And I know that speed comes with time, so I'm not going to worry about that at all. After all, I have until January before my next half.

Yesterday also marked my return to the kitchen. We are officially out of freezer meals! As I cooked up dinner Thatboy informed me that he was really excited for dinner because it smelled like "life before baby." Hot meals that take a little bit of love and time to prepare. And I'm sure he appreciated being off the hook for dinner since the last three weeks he's the one prepping all meals. Now he's got breakfast and lunch and I take care of dinner.

Thatboy and I have been walking to the grocery store on an "as needed" basis, so obviously with the advent of cooking dinners it was "needed." I saw these colorful carnival squash and decided to plan dinner around them.

Have you ever cooked with carnival squash? I hadn't. But I decided to do what I always do with a new ingredient -treat it like an old one! And I had seen a recipe in this month's Food Network Magazine for Gnocchi with Butternut Squash and Kale. Gnocchi is definitely my favorite pasta and the idea of gnocchi, squash, and a dark leafy green was almost irresistible. This cooks up in one pan making cleanup extra easy on people who are waiting for a baby to cry at any minute as they eat dinner. Thatboy adored this dish. He continued to rub his belly and tell me how much he enjoyed it all evening long. And jumped up to clean to show his appreciation. And was eager to have the leftovers for lunch today!

I have to say as good as dinner was, it was missing one key ingredient. I bet this dish would be perfect with some creamy goat cheese mixed in. Think about it, squash, kale, gnocchi and goat cheese? Next time.

Never one to leave a good thing alone, I wanted to add a nice side to the pasta. I know a lot of people ask what kind of side to serve with pasta and I'm of the mind that you can't go wrong with a nice dark green vegetable sauteed with garlic. This works with zucchini, broccoli, green beans, spinach, etc. I would have loved to use broccoli rabe as a side, but my market didn't have, so instead I grabbed some baby broccoli. Totally different flavor, but I love the longer thinner pieces for aesthetic purposes and it sautes up a little quicker than broccoli.

If you're cooking a green veggie with a thicker stem - like broccoli or asparagus, the key is to give it a quick boil first. (Longer than a blanche, not long enough to fully cook). Because you don't want to leave it sauteing long enough to fully cook it or it'll become oil-logged. A short hot water bath fixes this problem and leaves you with a veggie that still has some crisp to it, a gorgeous green color, and tasting more of garlic than oil.

1 lb broccolini
2 cloves minced garlic
3 Tbsp canola oil
salt and pepper
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Wash the broccolini and cut of stems. Boil them for 5 minutes and drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat and add garlic. Saute for for a minute - but don't let the garlic brown.
  3. Add the broccolini and stir until tender. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. This dish has all of the flavours of fall rolled into one amazing dish. Glad to see you're back in the kitchen, although having meals ready and wait9ing in the freezer is surte a nice break from the daily routine.Thatboy was prettu appreciative.

  2. I love the statement "the kitchen smells like before-baby" and love that all is pointing to normal. But normal with the three of you. Congrats on the run - I was happy to walk after babies! And walk I did. And no - you can never go wrong with some sauteed greens.

  3. It's amazing how light and easy non-pregnant running is!

    I agree, goat cheese sounds like it would make that meal perfect (like it does with most things!)

  4. It nice when things start to return to normal. The supper you made sounds delicious. I'm so glad that you are back in the kitchen. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. I am so impressed with you r back to running and kitchen routine. This meal looks way to fancy for a mom with a new born. You are amazing.

  6. Yay for your return to running! Now I can live vicariously through both you AND cate!

    Goat cheese makes everything better.

  7. You're the second person to talk about being below the pre-pregnancy weight shortly after giving birth. How is that possible?!

  8. How sad, we can't get carnival squash here, not even the brocolini. I am proud of you on the run!

  9. First, cheers to you for getting out there after your pregnancy. I know it feels good.

    This gnocchi dish looks fabulous. Comforting and healthy too. Love the concept of this dish.


  10. Wow! You are awesome. I'm not sure I could run two miles!

    The squash looks delicious. I made squash quesadillas the other night and we both loved them.